A select group of YouTube listeners will have plenty to sing about on November 3. Starting that day, YouTube Music will allow music to continue playing in the background, such as when your screen is turned off or when you’re performing other mobile tasks, for some user of its free service. The catch, however, is that this option will only be available in Canada.
YouTube hasn’t announced any further rollouts in other countries as of yet. A lack of a date in any other country, however, seems to be a not-so-good sign that it will still be a while before YouTube unveils it anywhere else.
Music lovers rejoice!🎵 Background listening is coming to the @YouTubeMusic app, and 🇨🇦 will be the first to enjoy this new feature starting Nov 3! Get radio-like listening with your screen off and don’t stop the music! 🎶🎶🎶 https://t.co/GPwRMcVhp1
— Google Canada (@googlecanada) October 4, 2021
It’s still exciting to see offline listening finally come to phones. YouTube Music will support this feature across an array of different listening options, including radio mixes, uploaded content, and ad-supported accounts.
First introduced with the Premium subscription, the background music option cost $10 monthly. YouTube is late to the game compared to other services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Tidal, which all offer free background listening with ads.
Even though background listening is coming to YouTube Music’s ad-supported users, there are still plenty of reasons to invest in the Premium subscription. For one, ad-supported background listening won’t offer offline downloads, so those users will still be at the mercy of their mobile data or Wi-Fi connection.
More importantly, with the Premium subscription, you will have the ad-free listening experience and be able to swap between audio listening and the more immersive music video listening experience. It also comes as a part of a seemingly more encompassing plan to attract more users, and includes an update to allow all OS watches to offer YouTube Music capabilities.